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Global Report Shows Use of Webinars Triples, Driving Digital-First Engagement Across Industries

Companies deliver more digital experiences using video while audience preference for on-demand viewing increases

June 2nd, 2021

Nearly all marketers cite webinars as a critical element to their plans and the strongest channel in creating qualified sales leads

SAN FRANCISCO – June 2, 2021– Companies across industries are rapidly shifting to digital-first engagement with webinars, according to the ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2021. In one of the most extensive data analyses of digital events, the findings are based on more than 2,000 organizations delivering over 100,000 digital experiences with at least 100 attendees using ON24 (NYSE: ONTF) last year. Data shows that the use of webinars increased 162% and attendance nearly quadrupled to more than 60 million people. Audiences engaged with over 61 million hours of content, an increase of nearly 300%.

As the move to digital channels accelerates, webinars remain core to the marketing and sales cycle. In a supplementary survey to the benchmarks report, nearly all marketers (99%) cite webinars as key to their plans, with three-quarters (72%) saying webinars have a direct impact on pipeline and revenue. Due in part to benefits such as audience insights, engagement data, and buying signals webinars generate, marketers say the majority of sales teams (66%) prioritize leads that come from webinars, making them the top digital channel for 89% of respondents in creating qualified sales leads.

Video Becoming Essential in Digital Experiences

Companies are using webinars to deliver dynamic digital experiences that engage their prospects and customers, with more marketers using video to increase audience engagement and viewing times during their events. Two-thirds (66%) of all live webinar experiences featured some type of video, which is nearly a 30-point increase from the previous year.

The growing use of video shows that audiences want more active two-way interaction such as one-to-one discussions, group meetings, and peer-to-peer networking versus passive experiences. Video became critical to customer engagement and adding an interactive element to webinars. Perhaps signaling video will continue as a core component to digital events and engagement, 36% of respondents invested in new video equipment to support their ongoing webinar programs.

Increasing Preference for On-Demand Content

While live events remain the most used format, on-demand webinars are growing in popularity as a way to give attendees convenient access to content at any time. Data shows live-only attendance fell four points to 53% while on-demand viewing increased four points to 43%. Nearly half of all webinar attendees watched webinars on-demand.

Marketers are making their content available beyond a live event and better accommodating audiences with on-demand webinars. On-demand viewing averages 29 minutes, providing more time to engage and educate audiences. With an increasing preference for on-demand experiences, a majority (58%) surveyed say they are creating webinars that go straight to an on-demand session.

“Digital engagement is enabling marketing and sales teams to reach more people and spend more time with their prospects and customers,” said Steve Daheb, CMO at ON24. “Digital-first approaches are here to stay because companies now have a much better and cost-effective way to capture buyer attention, drive deeper engagement, and gather insights and data to generate pipeline and revenue.”

The ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2021 is an analysis of more than 100,000 digital experiences with over 100 attendees between January and December 2020 on ON24 Webcast Elite, representing more than 2,000 small business and enterprise organizations. Over 100 customers were surveyed to complement this analysis and add further insight to the benchmark data.

For a complete overview of the ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2021 results, watch the on-demand webinar at ON24.com/Benchmarks2021.

About ON24
ON24 provides a leading cloud-based Platform that makes it easy to create, scale, and personalize engaging experiences to drive measurable business growth. Today, we are helping over 2,000 companies worldwide, including 3 of the 5 largest global technology companies, 4 of the 5 largest US banks, 3 of the 5 largest global healthcare companies, and 3 of the 5 largest global industrial manufacturing companies, convert millions of prospects to buyers. Through interactive webinars, virtual events, and always-on multimedia experiences, ON24 provides a system of engagement, powered by AI, which enables businesses to scale engagement, conversions, and pipeline to drive revenue growth. The ON24 platform supports an average of 4 million professionals a month totaling over 2.5 billion engagement minutes per year. ON24 is headquartered in San Francisco with global offices in North America, EMEA, and APAC. For more information, visit www.ON24.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws. In some cases, such statements can be identified by words such as: “expect,” “convert,” “believe,” “plan,” “future,” “may,” “should,” “will,” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements include express or implied statements regarding our ability to achieve our business strategies, growth, or other future events or conditions. Such statements are based on our current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions about future events or conditions, which are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties discussed in the filings we make from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on them. All statements herein are based only on information currently available to us and speak only as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any such statement.


Highlights and Findings
ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2021

The ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report 2021 is an analysis of more than 100,000 digital experiences with over 100 attendees between January and December 2020 on ON24 Webcast Elite, representing more than 2,000 small business and enterprise organizations. Over 100 customers were surveyed to complement this analysis and add further insight to the benchmark data.

Growing number of webinars and attendees

  • The number of webinars grew 162% and attendees increased 251% to more than 60 million.
  • The hours of webinar content consumed grew by 290%, totaling 61 million hours.
  • The average viewing time for webinars was 57 minutes.
  • 59% say they plan to increase the number of webinars in 2021.

Two-way engagement being used during webinars

  • Q&A is the most used engagement tool (86%), followed by resources for download (70%).
  • The use of surveys increased six points to 43%.
  • Polling and social are both used 22%.
  • Group chat is the least used at 12%.

Significant increase in the use of video

  • 66% of all live webinars featured some type of video, 28 points higher than in 2019.
  • 86% state that their presenters are on video more frequently during the pandemic.
  • 36% have bought new equipment for their webinars in the past year or before.

Growing preference for on-demand viewing

  • 57% create webinars that go straight to on-demand viewing.
  • Live-only attendance decreased four points while on-demand increased by the same amount.
  • On-demand viewing time for webinars averaged 29 minutes.
  • 43% of all attendees only watch on-demand webinars, a five-point increase.

Webinars influence pipeline and revenue

  • 89% believe webinars outperform other channels in creating qualified leads.
  • 66% say their sales teams prioritize leads that come from webinars.
  • 72% say that webinars directly impact pipeline and revenue.
  • 99% agree that webinars represent a critical element of their marketing plan.
  • 78% say webinars help lower their cost per lead.


Media Contact:
Roger Villareal

Investor Contact:
Maili Bergman